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20161213_192022

See A Cafe Racer Build Start To Finish!

Cafe Racer TV

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Marc Roissette sent us a time lapse video of the entire build. Below is a story behind the build, in his own words.

I bought this GSX 750 last year as the other owner had some issues with it not running well and also a fuel float / leak flooding the cylinders. I was able to negotiate a fairly good deal on the bike and this is where the project started. After picking up the bike and getting it home, I decided the first step was to sort out the carbies and get the bike running to have a sense of things I needed to change before going into the modification side. After a strip down and re-build of the carbs I found the last person to build͟d had left some parts out causing 1 of the two issues.

Watch his time lapse video to see the entire process.

The second problem to solve before getting it running right was tank pet cock not closing when shut off causing constant fuel drain into the engine. I installed an inline fuel tap to solve this issue in the short term. Taking it down to a track day in stock form and cutting a few laps I decided the whole front end needed replacing as the front suspension was like a trampoline and the brakes were wooden and just did not stop in the way I wanted, the rear sets were rubber and had no feel and the exhaust did not have the note or look I wanted, it was also time to re-jet the carbs and get some nice K&N filters. The bike went home and was stripped back to just the frame, engine out, carbs off and front end off to the shelf. The frame was then taken to with a grinder to remove all the old and un-used tabs to clean up the look of the bike, a new rear hoop welded onto improve rigidity and sent off to be powder coated. After searching around for a GSXR front end locally I was unable to get the parts required which would have made for a nice easy front end bearing conversion. I was though lucky enough to get a Ducati 996 front end off a good friend at Vendetta Racing which then needed some more work to the frame to get it attached due to the 35mm head stem.

Whilst all this work was going on a tail piece was ordered from Norway and I manufactured seat pan and tail plate to store all the wiring, battery etc and have a seat pad made up. Once completed the tank and tail piece were sent off for paint in a scheme I had designed in photoshop.More parts were ordered for the bike such as new chain, sprockets, rears sets, levers, gauge cluster, filters, short throttle and others to get the look and feel I wanted for the bike.

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The wiring harness was stripped back to bare and re-run causing some minor headaches as finding a workshop manual for a GSXF 750 was near impossible! Once the freshly powder coated frame was back the install of parts could start once again. First the engine was re-installed after a good degrease and clean then the wiring harness fed through the bike before the rear swing arm was re-attached. Getting the new front end on the bike was difficult without the required hoist to lift the bike up but I was able to use a step ladder and some bike tie downs to get the job done. With front end on the bike was stable and rest of the work for re-assembly could be completed. Once the wiring harness was all re-connected to controls it was time to balance the carbs. Now this is tricky, being my first time working with in line carbs I was a little clueless as to how to go about the task, after much time spent looking through a manual for a Bandit 600 and youtube videos I got the basics sorted out and balancing tool on the carbs to complete the job. After about 3 hours of work on and off the balance and pilots were adjusted a level that worked and the rest of the parts could be installed!

 

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Bucking Bronco lives on!…as CB73

Cafe Racer

This build comes to us from Bernie Blackwell in Melbourne, Australia. He tells you about it in his own words.

This 1973 Honda 750.4 cylinder completed its early life in the early 1980’s racing at weekends as a Hillclimber in country Victoria. Rumour has its name as the Bucking Bronco! Discovered in a Leongatha farmshed in early 2011,she was resurrected over 3 1/2 years. The battered original was stripped of 11kg of extraneous parts and fittings….with an industrial angle grinder!

The desired build was to achieve a Manx Nortonlike look(circa 1960)…. organic, brutal, muscular and yet elegant….with a minimal bare hungry look.
The handmade fuel tank,oil tank and tailpiece were fabricated by Bernie Willett of Eltham. Every nut, bolt, washer and bracket has been replaced or fabricated by hand.and its all been mastered by Greg Cook of Leongatha.

Some 40 years after its appearance at the World Exhibition in Tokyo (note the Souvenir coin on the tailpiece) this once mass produced modern classic has been given a full stripped down makeover.

Bucking Bronco lives on!…as CB73.

 

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Ton Up Tuesday

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It looks like a new generation of  Cafe Racers, and we love it!  Frank Marcus, a sports teacher in the Netherlands, led this project. He wanted get students interested in learning to build. They just  presented bike at the Interclassic Show in Maastricht. This school project not only got these 16 and 17 year olds interested in the technical part but they fell in love with the nostalgia (and loved all the attention) they got showing off this Cafe Racer. They had  7 offers on the bike. But, since it wasn’t built with money in mind, they turned down the offers and preferred to enjoy it. “In short, we achieved more goals then we had in mind,” said Frank.

 

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Below is an excerpt in Frank’s words about why they wanted to do this and why he led the project. There are so many great builders and bikes but it all starts in a shack or garage ones. I find the whole Caféracer and Scramblerscene to be very sympathetic. Here it’s not about the money but about making cool bikes, as it should be… We can not compete with a professional builder but with the funding we had (max 2000 euro all-in) we were able to make a cool bike that is worth wile showing.

I selected 5 students who were motivated to be in this project. For the built we used the knowledge of Marcel Schepers, who is owner of Schepers Motor Design. He is known for building very nice bikes and  currently has some Kawasaki w800’s in his shop that he rebuild into

cool scramblers. His latest project is a flat tracker that he is building for the Glemseck meating in 2016 in Germany. For the saddle and bag we could rely on Jowi Paulissen. He is a local magician with leather, makes saddles, baggs and all kinds of upholstery. For the paint job we can thank  local garage Beckers who painted our tank for free.

This project is meant to show kids that working in the technical sector can be fun. We are losing a lot of interest from our youth in thisstudy and line of work and with this project we try to show that it can be a great education and that there are a lot of jobs to be found. The two students that worked on the bike André and Floyd, have been busy grinding, measuring, bending, making brackets, painting (exhaust), brake revision and more. Fenders, metal plates on the side, saddle plate and several brackets have been hand made by these guys.

The engine itself we left untouched, we found this 34 year old XJ650 with only 8000 miles on the counter. If its reliable we don’t temper with it. Thanks Frank, keep up the good work!

 

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Old School Cafe Racer in Brazil

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This Cafe Racer project and article comes to us from Augusto Bittencourt. Most of this came from what he sent to us via Facebook. 

The 1973 YAMAHA TX 500 was the basis for construction of this Vintage/Old School Cafe Racer. This bike was built in the owner’s house, Augusto Bittencourt, in his own workspace. He called it Lucas, in honor of his son Lucas Bittencourt,  a Speed Motorcycle pilot.

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As it was built to be Old School, the front disc brakes gave way to a drum brake from a Norton Commando with Dunlop rim, carburetors were kept and overfed, the tail and seat are English, the handlebar and throttle are Tomazelli ones, the electric start was eliminated and left only the kick start. The pedals have been recoiled for more racing style piloting, the levers are retro, and the mirror is a bar end and there are thermo tapes on the exhaust. The tank was handcrushed to give the Cafe style and a racing style air vent builted next to the cover, which was maintained with an gasoline buoy marker.

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The speedometer is a Smiths, in the best English style. The painting refers to the years 50`s in shades of red, black and silver with the YAMAHA name styled “Norton”, and an adhesive tail make an homage to Isle Of Man TT. The biggest difficulty in building a Cafe Racer style machine here in Brazil is the lack of available parts and accessories, requiring care, which makes it very expensive and labor-intensive project.

As an initial test-drive, the “Lucas Cafe” was piloted by the homonym pilot Lucas Bittencourt in Cascavel 2015 Gentlemans Ride between the cities of Cascavel and Toledo in Brazil, a journey of 100 km, making it one of the event’s attractions, not only for style but also the sound coming out of the exhaust, like a B-52 flying.

It is difficult to talk about cost when the manpower is the owner himself and the parts were all imported. The most important thing is that the project achieved its objective and has become one of the most Old School Cafe Racers in Brazil for sure, in terms of labor, creativity and authenticity.

 

Cafe Racer

Cafe Racer Before & After

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Check out these before and after shots sent to us by Philipp Dewies. He’s a 23year old mechanical engineering student at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. He got some great practical experience in his field while working on this Cafe Racer project with his dad.  The idea to build a Cafe Racer was born out of necessity. Philipp says that he didn’t have enough money to buy a cool bike from a dealer.

He bought what he calls “a cheap” BMW R65 and started to unscrew the whole bike.  He and his dad built new parts, fixed problems and enjoyed the time together in their garage. They had so  much fun, they decided to build another one, a better one. They bought the 1985 BMW R80 RT you see pictured above. They worked on it every weekend for about nine months in their home garage.

“My dad and I were in scale modelling for many years, so we had all the tools we needed already at home,” Philipp told us.

The paint is the original Porsche Aetna Blau from the legendary 1960 Porsche 356B. They integrated a Motogadget Tiny Speedster in the lamp body, powder coated the engine, and many other parts. For the perfect clean shape of the seat they decided to put on a very small Kellermann indicator/backlight combination. He used the leather from the seat to cover the handles. The helmet was painted also in the Porsche Blau. Philipp grinded it in spots to get a cool design. Then he put a clear lacquer on it. The helmet makes a great touch. Tell us what you think. If you have a project you’d like to show, just send it to us through this Contact Us form .